This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

squirrel eats tomato

squirrel  026
squirrel  030 squirrel  032
squirrel  037 squirrel  043

I've figured out why I have so few tomatoes this year. Unfortunately, I could put up chicken wire to keep a rabbit out, but there's not much that will keep a squirrel out of the garden.

The poor squirrel was sad to drop his pretty tomato from the fence post. After the last photo above, he went down, out of my sight and I suppose found it and finished it off.

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Blogger ~Holly~ said...

Sorry about your tomato but that's pretty cute. Glad you got to see him in action!

July 27, 2010 11:57 PM

Blogger abigail said...

skippy's not much of rodent hunter?

July 27, 2010 11:57 PM

Blogger kathy said...

let's not talk about skippy's rodent hunting.... he was busy probably napping

(I'm having fun with a new zoom lens.)

July 28, 2010 12:01 AM

Anonymous Marian (LondonUK) said...

Great shots. It's one of those moments when you instantly switch between "Hey you flipping thing get off then, it is so cute and looking at me saying go on let me have it"!
I'm a softie too.
Marian (LondonUK)

July 28, 2010 2:54 AM

Blogger Lucky-1 said...

Oh how cute......I can say that as its not my tomato he was

July 28, 2010 5:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried the powdered bobcat urine against the squirrels and bunnies? I think my sister had some luck with it for a persistent woodchuck.

July 28, 2010 9:14 AM

Blogger Joseph said...

Frustrating to see the damage. Maybe a big ole' outside Coon Cat could guard the area. Or just some one-inch chicken wire carefully (and sightfully) installed. I put some in, and now I can enjoy the wildlife. Chipmunks and grounhogs? Now that's a different problem!

July 28, 2010 7:26 PM

Blogger MAYBELLINE said...

Oh bugger!
There is something that would keep those varmints out but I don't think you can fire a shotgun within city limits.

July 28, 2010 11:58 PM

Blogger GoneferalinID said...

All I have to write is -have a heart traps. My neighbor started catching the squirrels and relocating them a few miles away. It has made a great difference in the neighborhood. We have an overabundance of squirrels that are wreaking havoc in Boise right now. There is some sort of ecological imbalance going on.

July 29, 2010 4:15 AM

Blogger Shaela said...

I have gone to some really extreme lengths to keep squirrels out of my tomatoes. Once they started eating in my garden they sort of colonized my yard and became a nuisance in other ways. Good luck.

July 29, 2010 9:42 AM

Anonymous Donna Caesar said...

Is there a hot dry weather pattern where you are?
In my experience squirrels don't usually bother garden vegetables (unlike groundhogs and rabbits). They are omniverous and have varied food preferences- we know they are much more likely to raid our birfeeders for seed, nuts and corn. I worked in a wildlife rehab center and prepared their little platters and no one cared for tomatos (we did have a few that really liked avocados and lettuce.)
I've heard abou this tomato thing with squirrels during drought- (my next door neighbor would freak out when they would take 1 bite out of each tomato and ruin the whole crop). To test it out, you might try setting up a simple, cheap water source- Let a hose drip into a flat receptacle like a trash can lid. All the wildlife in your garden would greatly appreciate it as well during times of scarce water. Drought is hard on all animals.
In my opinion squirrels more than make up for their nuciance behaviors (usually @ bird feeders)with their intelignce and entertainment value.

July 29, 2010 3:28 PM

Blogger Shaela said...

@Donna Caesar-
We did try installing a birdbath, which the birds and mosquitoes enjoy, but the squirrels have never seemed interested. Maybe because they can't pick it up and run with it like a tomato? LOL, maybe I should try water balloons!

July 30, 2010 8:38 AM

Blogger Karen Anne said...

"Relocating" squirrels is not a good idea. Squirrels are territorial, so dumping squirrels into someone else's territory starts mayhem in the place they're dumped.

July 30, 2010 2:17 PM

Blogger LadySilverOak said...

I've successfully kept the squirrel out of my veggies and herbs by leaving peanut butter balls for him daily. I mix organic peanut butter, honey, and random organic nuts with oats into gold ball sized balls. I leave out 2 or 3 and he has never touched my plants since!! He also has started chasing the birds off my bell peppers! Maybe that will work.

July 30, 2010 10:04 PM

Blogger Karen Anne said...

LadySilverOak's post reminds me maybe the reason I don't have a problem with squirrels eating my veggies either is because I leave out (unroasted, unsalted) peanuts for them in a dish on my deck.

That peanut butter, honey nuts combo sounds pretty good! I think my squirrels would be jealous if they knew about it.

The peanuts are also a fav of the neighborhood skunks (very beautiful close up, although with a sliding glass door between me and them), foxes, and various of the birds.

July 31, 2010 7:25 AM

Blogger Karen Anne said...

p.s. I also have a ground level foot wide saucer of water on the deck. Everybody seems to drink out of that.

July 31, 2010 7:27 AM

Blogger meemsnyc said...

Wow, you caught a squirrel red handed! Oh My!

July 31, 2010 10:11 PM

Anonymous Borlovan's Nursery & Landscaping said...

Down South on the Gulf of Mexico, in Mobile, AL we have plenty of squerels, but so far they were eating my pecans whenever they could, but not the tomatoes. Some big cats could keep them in check, but probably not always, as they (the cats) sleep o lot in the day time. I love your pictures, and your blog is very nice. I was gardening for a long time, but started blogging just recently on gardening, and I've got a lot to improve. Your is looking great. I'll be back again!


August 02, 2010 9:49 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I just like watching what's going on. I like the idea that I plant a garden and then it has a life of its own.... And I can watch it from the window and play with my zoom lens.

The squirrels have not stolen tomatoes again since that first one. I think maybe it was the heat. A good suggestion.

But the animals have plenty of water sources in my yard. Maybe I will post a photo of my backyard someday. A pretty waterfall trickling over moss-covered rocks and into a 8 ft diameter pool. It attracts birds who bath in it. And the squirrels come to drink.

I had squirrels try tomatoes a couple years ago. A couple of tomatoes had bite marks. Not enough to worry about.

And that cute little rabbit seems to have moved on. My house painter has been out early and late and disturbed the rabbits routine. We have an active yard. I would love it if he stayed. Especially since I have also sealed off my cold frame from him.

August 02, 2010 10:17 PM

Anonymous lisa said...

What a little stinker, if only he weren't so darn cute!!

August 04, 2010 7:42 AM

Blogger Missy said...

Oh man! Squirrels and chipmunks are the worst. They're so cute you don't want to stop them. :(

August 04, 2010 2:42 PM


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